The Geneseo Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Development created a Global Council in August 2014 with the mission to provide student ambassadors for the program with global leadership and expertise. The CIDD draws together high-end student programming, focusing on areas of scholarship, fellowship, ambassador programs and involvement of the community well-being.
It includes additional curricula like the Edgar Fellows program and Clinton Global Initiative. Its goal is to deliver funding and mentorship to students of excellence exploring projects or research of their choice, and to encourage transformational conversations between students and professionals.
“We offer summer fellowships of $5,000 to students for projects of their own design,” Interim President Carol Long said. “We try to support whatever ideas are proposed and to make the path as smooth as we can.” Long is as an advocate for the concept of the program.
These projects can range from research on science and the arts to internship and travel or non-profit support. Twelve student ambassadors were selected for the 2014-2015 school year.
The CIDD supports a community cabinet which includes faculty, staff, members of business community, ambassadors and ambassador alum. In addition to working beside the global council, this cabinet makes the selections of who qualifies for future ambassador projects.
The new global council comprises a diverse array of experienced professionals from all academic fields, including Chief Justice of Ghana Lady Georgina Theodora Wood and National Geographic archaeology fellow Fred Hiebert.
“The Chief Justice was the first acceptance into the council,” CIDD director Cynthia Oswald said. “She is fourth seat from the presidency and an extremely powerful woman. It shows the importance behind the people we have recruited––these are big names.”
The council, which already met once in August, will meet again on Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement & Talent Day on April 21. Members will have an opportunity to walk the campus grounds and to observe presentations given by student ambassadors. Afterwards, a celebratory dinner will allow these students to mingle with those on the community cabinet and global council, giving them an opportunity to both learn and network. A meeting will follow the next morning, during which cabinet and council members will discuss and plan the year ahead.
These selected members serve a two-year term, during which they agree to meet twice a year in order to provide their expertise and coordinate the program.
“This is an experiment,” Oswald said. “The CIDD is new, so we’re always saying ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ to different possibilities discussed by this group.”
Oswald and Long also hope to achieve a sense of branding for Geneseo by making these connections locally and abroad, spreading the name and mission of Geneseo as a unique liberal arts school.
“There is no other college that something exactly like this Global Council with such prominent leaders interested in student development,” Oswald said. “I am so excited to see where things go.”